1. Blue Valentine (2010)
This is a heartbreaker. An upsetting, captivating romantic drama starring the superb Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams, it tells a love story alternating between the present, as their marriage slowly crumbles, and the past, when they first met and fell in love. Make sure you have some Kleenex ready.
2. Charade (1963)
This classic movie — which manages to be a suspense thriller, a romance, and a comedy all in one — stars Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant and is lots of fun. The dialogue is by turns witty and melodramatic, the colors are bright and 60s-tastic, and it’s entertaining in a way not many movies are anymore.
3. Water Lilies (2007)
This French film shows three girls, two of whom are on a synchronized swimming team, as they start to figure out their sexualities. I found it endearing and realistic and the actresses compelling.
4. Midnight Cowboy (1969)
This classic 60s flick stars Jon Voight as a Southern cowboy-hat-wearing hustler who moves to New York City planning to work as a male prostitute and becomes friends with con man Dustin Hoffman. Hoffman, as always, is terrific, and there are some psychedelic party scenes as well as the iconic “I’m walkin’ here!” line from Hoffman as a car nearly runs him over.
5. Superstar (1999)
This comedy, starring Molly Shannon alongside Will Ferrell, got pretty mediocre reviews when it came out, but I think it’s funny and charming. Shannon plays her Saturday Night Live character Mary Katherine Gallagher, a nervous Catholic schoolgirl who has a habit of putting her hands in her armpits and then sniffing them (lol).
6. The Man Who Fell To Earth (1976)
This zany sci-fi flick stars the incomparable David Bowie as an alien from a dying planet who journeys to Earth. If you like Bowie, or stylish, kooky movies, you’re in for a treat.
7. Being John Malkovich (1999)
This highly inventive movie, written by Charlie Kaufman (Eternal Sunshine) and directed by Spike Jonze, stars John Cusack as a man who discovers a passageway into the titular actor’s mind. It’s entertaining and one-of-a-kind.
8. Team America: World Police (2005)
South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone are, to me, two of the funniest people alive. Their all-marionette musical satire of U.S. foreign policy (and many other things) is laugh-out-loud hilarious and completely ridiculous.
9. Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry (2012)
This compelling documentary profiles Ai Weiwei, a Chinese artist and activist famous for his independence and defiance of his country’s government, which makes him constantly in danger of being arrested. This is an intriguing look at a fascinating, endearing figure.
10. Drive (2011)
Ryan Gosling has been involved with some good movies lately. This stylish thriller stars Gosling as a stoic stunt driver who falls in love with Carey Mulligan’s character, whose violent husband is due to be released from prison. And Gosling’s character is involved with some criminal activity of his own. Plenty of violence and a cool soundtrack ensue.